Background

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust treats 500,000 patients each year; it became one of the first ten foundations trusts in the UK in 2004.

 

The Trust is proud to maintain their record of providing high quality healthcare to patients and are committed to maintaining and improving services in the future. Putting patients at the heart of everything they do, they strive to work hard to ensure the delivery of safe and seamless patient centered care.

 

Stockport NHS Foundation Trust sees innovation as a critical part of achieving these ambitions, ramping up the pace and scale of change and delivering better outcomes for patients and visitors.

Situation

As part of the Trust’s commitment to providing a high quality service, Stockport pride themselves on their ability to deliver the latest NHS and Trust-wide information and updates to patients and visitors.

 

In order to do this, the Trust was using older, more traditional communication methods such as posters and television screens to display this information in waiting rooms and entrances around the hospital.

 

However, the Communications Team felt the need for a more modern approach to be taken to the way this information was displayed around the Trust. With the desire for innovation high on the agenda, a Digital Signage Project was commissioned.

Solution

Commenting on finding the most suitable hardware vendor for the Digital Signage Project, Bob Barton, IT Services Manager at Stockport NHS Foundation Trust, explains: “The project was led by the Communications Team here at the Trust who felt there was a need for a more responsive and current solution for the delivery of information. They came to us as an IT department to source the best solution to assist in doing this. Our understanding of what was required would allow us to find the right vendor who we could consult and work with and together find the best AV solutions that would meet the desired outcomes of the project.”

 

Speaking about the Trust’s decision to choose Stone, Barton explains: “Our relationship with Stone stems from the ongoing recycling service that they provide to us. They dispose of all our IT related devices including PCs, monitors, servers and data communication equipment and provide a service that we cannot fault.

 

“I knew Stone were on the CCS framework and this in part helped towards my decision to contact them in regards to our plans for a Digital Signage Project. However, it was the relationship that we have with Stone that really helped secure my choice of vendor. We have frequent communications with our Account Manager at Stone who always takes an interest in our future plans for IT around the Trust. I mentioned that this project was coming up and was informed that Stone could supply equipment appropriate to the project and had a portfolio of products that could match our requirements. Taking all of this into account, I knew that Stone would be the most suitable vendor to supply everything we needed.”

 

“Stone’s involvement in this project has helped to identify the most suitable Large Format Displays for public display around the Trust. The level of knowledge and expertise that our Account Manager demonstrated with these products meant that I didn’t have to do a lot of ground work, which saved me a lot of time and resource. Stone took an interest in this project and were committed to it from the very beginning. They dedicated a lot of time to finding hardware that we would be happy with and really got to the bottom of what we needed. I am very happy with the level of service they provided. We now have eleven 42” Iiyama screens and eleven 32” NEC displays that have replaced our outdated communication methods.”

 

In order for the Trust to display any information or content on the LFDs, each screen required a workstation that would allow for the delivery of real-time information to be uploaded and projected on to the display.

 

Speaking about this part of the project, Barton comments: “As a Trust, we have a big drive to keep energy consumption down so a major requirement for us was to have a device that was a low energy rating in order for us to maintain our green credentials. Another prerequisite was for the device to be disc-less and to not be data bearing. This was to ensure that, if the device was stolen, no data would be lost and we would not face significant fines from the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO). We also needed a device that could receive the information wirelessly, transfer it to the screen and work seamlessly with our wireless network. We have a specific wireless networking standard in place here at the Trust, so compliance with this standard was a fundamental aspect to our requirements.”

 

Stone issued Stockport with evaluation units to assess their suitability for the project first-hand before making a firm decision. Having evaluated a number of units, Stockport chose iGel Thin Client devices that met their specific requests.

 

In order secure the Thin Clients in public areas, Stone advised the Trust on their choice of security devices for the Thin Clients. Stone supplied purpose built security cages that encase the Thin Clients and ensure they fit neatly with the LFDs. To protect the screens from damage, Stone also advised the Trust on their choice of screen protectors for those displays that were in vulnerable areas such as corridors.

 

Since finishing and implementing the Digital Signage Project the Trust has seen improvements made to the delivery and communication of information. Speaking about this, Barton comments: “We can now provide real-time, live content for patients and visitors across all public areas around the hospital. We’re committed to continually maintaining and improving our services to our patients and this Digital Signage Project can now assist us in maintaining our long standing record of providing high quality healthcare.”

“We are delighted to have Stone as our IT hardware provider. The extension of our relationship with them has come about due to the efficient recycling service they have provided for us the last few years.

“The management of our account is excellent. They always keep in touch and the communication we have is very efficient. Our Account Manager has always been very enthusiastic towards our projects and shown a keen interest for our future vision for ICT around the Trust.”

— Bob Barton, IT Services Manager